One of president-elect Donald Trump’s top advisors said the incoming administration is considering requiring Muslim immigrants to sign up for a national registry, according to Reuters.
The comments were made by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is considered to be a highly influential immigration adviser to Trump and his transition team. Kobach said that implementing a federal database of Muslims would help the new president and the Department of Homeland Security “hit the ground running.”
Trump is not a stranger to the idea of placing draconian restrictions on Muslim immigration. The idea of a Muslim registry was first mentioned by Trump a year ago. The then-presidential candidate told NBC News he would “certainly implement” the registry so the government could monitor Muslims in the country. Later during his campaign he called for a ban on Muslims entering the country, then reconsidered his policy position and suggested a ban on all people coming in from countries with a history of terrorism.
The backlash from Trump’s remarks on Muslims has always come swiftly. Civil Rights groups and Islamic faith organizations have condemned the remarks as not only un-American, but potentially unconstitutional as well.
Colin Christopher, who works as a deputy head at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Virginia, warned of legal action if the registry was put in place.
“It also lacks a legal foundation. And if this idea transitions to something more serious and is implemented, civil rights organizations will see it in court,” he said.
Besides the obvious legal issues with the database, there are massive logistical problems as well. Islam is a religion, not an identifiable race of people who come from a certain country of origin. People who identify themselves as Muslims come from vastly different backgrounds and are found all over the world. What Trump is most likely thinking about implementing is a registry of Muslims coming from certain countries, as Vox pointed out.
Yesterday, as the story regarding Kobach‘s comments made it’s way around the news circuit, Carl Higbie from the pro-Trump PAC “Great America” defended the proposed registry on Fox News’ “The Kelly File.” The spokesman argued that there is precedent for the administration to enact the database, namely Japanese internment camps in the 1940s.
“We’ve done it based on race, we’ve done it based on religion, we’ve done it based on region,” he said. “We’ve done it with Iran back — back a while ago. We did it during World War II with [the] Japanese.”
This writer would strongly advise Mr. Higbie revisit a high school history class or never speak again.
[Reuters] [The Hill] [Vox] [Image courtesy InfoWars]